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MARY STEWART DUNLAP (1846-1925) impressionist landscape plein air oil painting by listed California artist
Oil on canvas, laid on board, 5 1/2" by 8" (12 1/4" by 14 1/2" as framed), the subject a copse of trees in a vague landscape at sunset, the sky turning pink-red, signed at lower right "M. S. Dunlap" (MARY STEWART DUNLAP 1846-1925). This is not a large painting but it is very powerfully impressionistic. Dunlap is today largely forgotten, but according to biographies in Hughes' Dictionary of California Artists, and Dawdy's Artists of the American West, she was quite well regarded in her day. Born in Ohio, she studied in New York and then in Paris, including some time with Whistler himself. She painted a lot in Normandy and Brittany, no doubt rubbing shoulders there with many gifted and well known painters. fAfter some years in New York she was in Pasadena by 1906, teaching art and giving lessons and exhibiting. According to Hughes, she was a specialist in marine and coastal scenes including sunrises and sunsets---------as we see here. In July of 1912 she was written up in the publication "Arts and Decoration". Dawdy says that around the turn of the century she was "attracting favorable comment in widely-read art periodicals". She evidently moved to California "in the belief that an even wider diversity of material awaited her there". Condition: This board on which the canvas is laid has been itself laid to another board, with a silk mat liner around; there is no glass. The canvas is slightly soiled, consistent with its age, and the extreme lower right corner is stubbed a little, showing as white in the photos. There is a tiny dot of white foreign matter in the grass. All in all this is a fine little oil for an intimate-sized wall. .
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